tv [untitled] April 27, 2012 10:30am-11:00am EDT
their crimes against humanity. >> we can all work to bring the perpetrators of atrocity to justice and we can all work to help make the world a better place. >> we can stop joseph kony and the lra. we just need to keep at it and we need to keep working together. >> there are so many people who are joining together now that he is literally on the run. >> i believe we can stop joseph kony if we focus on it intently. we in the foreign relations committee increasingly are going to up our level of that focus and provide visibility to the this issue. we're going to try to push countries and push our own government into recognizing that we have to commit more. >> it's only a matter of time. >> stopping kony and the lrsa is an issue that has deep bipartisan support. our challenge now is to sustaining that support. that's where you come in. >> there's no country on the face of the planet that allows
people as much freedom of choice and as much opportunity to make a difference. >> please, stay informed. be engaged. help make sure that we finish the job, that we find joseph kony, that we remove him from the battlefield, that we bring him to justice than we commit to the on going work of fulfilling it the families who have been hurt by the crimes of this terrible man and remember, there's so much more we can and should do in africa and around the world to promote america values. we welcome your voice, we're listening to your concerns and we look forward to working together. >> that will video was in large part motivated by a desire tore respond to the millions from young people around the world who have been engaged by and encouraged to be active on this issue by invisible children, by resolve, by the enough project and by their joint efforts to
publicize this on going decades long scourge in central africa. it really is i think a once in a generation moment when we have the attention of millions of folks around the world and so i want us to now move to our first panel to hear about the status of the hunt for joseph kony, the multilateral effort against the lra, america's investments in recovery and i want to thank the two the senators to my left, both for their participation in the video and for their long leadership on this issue. at that, i'd like to ask senator isakson for his opening statement before we go to the first panel. >> i'll be very brief because i want to hear from the panelists. to have administrator gast and amanda dory, you gave me a great briefing and i'm pleased to report that our united states forces under dod that are in uganda and other parts of central africa assisting the various armies and the african union are doing what our troops
always do, making america proud and bringing resources to the use of those armies that would not otherwise be available, and the assets they've deployed and the intelligence that they're gathering is being very, very helpful in terms of the pursuit of joseph cony. i wantment to recognize jolly and jacob, we're anxious to hear your story. mr. chairman, i'm going to turn it back to you to conduct the hearing. >> thank you, senator. senator inhofe. >> i'll be very brief. have i another hearing across the hall i have to attend. but i just returned from the east african community and as ambassador yamamoto will tell you, that was my 123 referred african country visit in 13 years. one of the most revealing one was back in 2005. and i only want top mention this because i think it may have gone kind of unnoticed. my first trip up to gulu was in 2005 when we heard there's a guy
up there named joseph kony. when i got there there are three guys i believe we would not be where we are today if not for them, the invisible children guys had their camera going up there, jason russell, lauren pool and bobby bailey. when they put together their first thing and went out and engendered the support, i can tell you right now we ended up getting 64 cosponsors to 1067. i did most of that. and could not have done it without those kids harassing all the members of the senate to get them to be interested in this mission. so i join them and i'm just glad that hopefully this will be the year. we are going to do all of the resources we can. i want to remind people as i always do that the amendments that we put on the 201 national defense authorization language was one that precludes americans from engaging in combat. and i think that's very
important for people to know because we get a lot of criticism for get diagnose places like libya where perhaps we shouldn't be, but they need the support, they have the support and i will be visiting with president kabila later this afternoon on a plan that he has so we have not just five countries but you have included in that the additional five corrupts of the east african community all working together to make this happen. thanks for all your support on this. >> thank you senator inhofe. i'd like to move to our first panel. ambassador yamamoto. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and for this great opportunity to speak to you today on our efforts to counter the lord's resistance army. the lra is a weakened force but its impact remains disproportionate. it continues to terrorize and uproot communities across three countries primarily the central african republic, the democratic public of the congo and southern sudan.
senator, we're all very grateful to you, senator coons, senator isakson and inhofe for everything you have done. it's humbling to be here before you and the work you have done to inspire us in our work here. consistent with the legislation that is you all passed in 2010, we continue to pursue a multifaceted strategy to support regional efforts totes end the threat posed by the lra. let me stress the governments of the region ared in lead making the most important sacrifices and their people are confronting the lra's terror. these governments are the ones that are ultimately responsible for ending this threat and protecting local communities. the united states is trying to help them fulfill these responsibilities. mr. chairman, we continue to look for ways which we can enhance the capacity of these militaries to succeed. last october, president obama authorized the deployment of a small number of u.s. military forces to serve as advisers to
the regional forces pursuing the lra. the president announced yesterday that the united states will continue this deployment. my colleagues from the department of defense will go into more detail on this work of the advisers. we are coordinating closely with the united nations peacekeeping missions in the region especially to promote civilian protection. we have encouraged the u.n. to scale up its efforts when possible. we are also working very closely with the african union to increase efforts to address the lra. last month the au officially launched the regional cooperation initiative for the elimination of the lra. united together, these is new initiatives is offer real promise. as the chairman kerry wrote earlier this month, the lra operates in very small groups across krs vast territories roughly the size of california. and very heavily forested. mr. chairman, effectively ending the threat requires
simultaneously removing the top leadership from the battlefield and addressing the conditions that leave the community so vulnerable to the predatory groups such as the lra. that is why the united states is seeking to pursue a multifacetted four-pillar program, and that is to increase protection of civilians, the apprehension and removal of kony and others, the promotion of defections of the lra in support of disarmament, demobilization and reentgration of fighters and number four, the provision of continues humanitarian relief to the affects areas. in participantship with us aid, the an state department is supporting projects to increase civilian protection to enhance early warning capabilities and strengthen the resilience of communities. we also believe that the targeted efforts to encourage the lra fighters to peacefully surrender can have a great effect at reducing their number. mr. chairman, we believe there is an opportunity for further u.s. support using the state
department's war crimes rewards program. we welcome legislations that would expand the authority of this program thoom end. in closing let me reiterate, there are partners in the region who are in the lead encountering the lra threat and its impacts but the united states can provide a critical, capable support to these efforts. mr. chairman, i submit a longer version for the record. and i also just want to take this word just to say thank you to ben keysy and the invisible children and to jacob and the others who are here today. thank you. >> thank you so much. ambassadorium ma mo to. >> of. good morning. thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. it's a pleasure to be back here again so soon. for overtwo decades, lra advertised communities across huge squaths of ugandan abducting civilians and forcing children to become soldiers.
it was finally driven out of uganda in many 2006 and since then, northern u dan da has undergone a transformation that is tangible. people can move freely, banks and stores are open. and fields are being cultivated. poverty declined from 61% nrs 2005 to an estimated 46% in 2010. and 95% of the more than 1.million ugandans who were displaced by the conflict have returned to their homes. working with the government of uganda and civil society organizations, the united states has done a tremendous amount to solidify this progress by supporting the rebuilding of communities and economies. today, the lra's numbers are significantly reduced but it continues to commit atrocities throughout large parts of central africa, the central african republic, democratic public of congo and south sudan. lra violence has displaced more than 445,000 persons in an area
the size of california that is harsh, remote and underdeveloped. as the threat has shifted from northern uganda to the central african republic and the congo and south sudan, us aid has adjusted its response to address humanitarian needs and increase protection of civilians in these areas which is at the core of our strategy. our programs which aim to assist nearly a quarter of a million persons are having a significant impact. because the lra preys on vulnerable communities, we are supporting coordinated efforts to reduce the vulnerability of those communities. in the drc, us aid has engaged 24 vils to form local protection committees that are identifying security threats and assessing what they can do to mitigate those problems. once these protection plans are in place, the use of high frequency radios will reinforce and extend an existing network of radios managed by the catholic church as an early warning system.
us aid also supports the reunification and reintegration of former lili abducts children into their families and communities and helping to meet their needs with therapy and life kills skills training. u.s. aid is also helping women purchase sewing machines, fabric and basic accessories. most of these women are the so providers for their children and they can now earn a living through tailoring and producing clothing for clients in and around their communities. u.s. aid has been heavily engaged in lra affected areas since the late 1980s and our efforts have shown development can flourish once stability and security have taken root. as the conflict first began to exact severe economic losses, caused mass displacement and weaked governance. northern uganda, u.s. aid focused on providing providing living is assistants.
when it was driven out of north uganda, our programs shifted from relief to recovery and to longer term development which is taking place now. u.s. aid's northern uganda transition initiative was a critical step in this evolution from relief, humanitarian assistance to development. this flagship program ven straighted public service buildings throughout affected regions including government office buildings, schools and teacher housing, health clinics, maskts, police and justice facilities and at a time of tremendous risk and uncertainty, the initiative quickly became a cornerstone of our strategy in northern uganda and highly valued by our partners for its speed, flexibility and its impact. by partnering directly with the government offices the initiative not only helped communities begin to rebuild, but also increased the visibility of and confidence in all levels of government. this effort sent a clear message that will peace had returned to the region and the government of
uganda was now at the helm of the reconstruction process. in northern uganda, u.s. aid's stranl ji has woven into the peace recovery and development plan which ushered in the return of stability to the region. we are working closely with the departments of state and defense as well as other donors in civil society organizations on the ground to make this a truly concerted push to help communities cope, recovery and rebuild. thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. i welcome any questions. thank you. >> thank you. miss dory? >> thank you, and good morning mr. chairman. ranking member. i appreciate this opportunity to update the subcommittee on the department of defense's role in countering the lord's resistance army. i appreciate the chance to appear before this committee and my first hearing in my new capacity as deputy assistant secretary for african affairs. consistent with the legislation
passed by congress in 2010 and signed into law by the president, the united states continues as you know, to pursue a comprehensive hult multiyear strategy to help our regional partners mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the lra. dod's contribution to this multinational effort is the consistent with the new defense strategic guidance which states "whenever possible, we will develop innovative, low cost and small footprint approaches to achieve our security objectives on the african continent relying on exercises, rotational presence, and advisory capabilities." in this operation, u.s. forces are combat equipped for self-defense purposes, but do not have the an operational role. u.s. advisers are supporting the regional forces in an advisory capacity and seeking to enhance our partners capabilities to achieve their objectives against the lra. the militaries of uganda, the central african republic, south
sudan and the democratic republic of the congress ghoe collaboration with the african union continue to pursue the lra and seek to protect local populations. they are leading this effort. as you know, approximately 1800 u.s. military personnel are deployed for operation observant compass across the four lra-affected countries. there's a command and control element in uganda working to synchronize and oversee dod's counter lra efforts and to coordinate at the headquarters level with the ugandan forces. small teams of u.s. military advisers are also now working with the ugandan military and national military forces in field locations in lra-affected areas of central african republic and south sudan. in these two countries u.s. advisers have helped to set up operations fusion centers to enable daily coordination, information sharing, and tactical coordination. the u.s. advisers are also
integrating local civilian leaders into the work of the partner forces to improve the effectiveness of the civil military relations. in the democratic republic of the congo, u.s. advisers are supporting efforts by min news co, the united nations organization stabilization mission in the drc as well as the congolese military to increase the protection of civilians and address the lra. our advisers there are working with minus co's joint intelligence operations center which serves as the intelligence fusion hub for these efforts in the drc. u.s. advisers are connecting the work of the gioc and that of the operations fusion centers in central african republic and south sudan to increase cross border analysis and regional coordination on lra movements. we believe our support is helping the partner forces to improve their operations. but they continue to face significant challenges in terms
of their capabilities to quickly pursue lra groups across this vast area. of dod appreciates the support provided by the authority in section 1206 of the national, defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012 which allows the expenditure of 35 million to provide enlanced support, supplies and services to our regional partners. dod intends to use this authority to provide enhanced mobility support to the regional forces as well as supplies to upgrade the fusion center. i'll close by saying we believe the u.s. military advisers have established a good foundation and made initial progress especially considering the complexity of the operating environment, the number of partners involved, and the remoteness of the operational areas. we will continue to monitor the situation closely with our interagency partners to ensure our support is having the intended impact.
dod appreciates congress's strong commitment to countering the lra and your support for our deployed personnel and we look forward to working with you in the months ahead. >> thank you so much, deputy assistant secretary dory for appearing before us today. let me if i could, start a first round of seven minutes with you, if i could. because i'm very interested in this sort of particular set of questions. what is the level of cooperation at this point between the four regional governments in terms of sharing information, intelligence, coordination, now that these fusion centers are set up, now that the 100 u.s. advisers are sort of facilitating communication? where are they in terms of collaboration? and what are the main practical and operational challenges associated with the u.s. mission that we might it be aware of and might be engaged in supporting either additional logistical support for intelligence assets that might be needed to strengthen afterry come's role
and to strengthen cooperation and effectiveness with our regional partners? >> thank you. on the collaboration question, i can speak at the tactical operational level and i snow the state department >> i'd say the level of collaboration is growing. the advisers that have gone into these operations centers engaging with partner forces arrived for the most part in the december and january time frame and the first period of time has been involved in establishing their operations and developing relations, with each of the partner militaries. as we all know, we can't surge trust and i think they've made tremendous progress in this initial period of time. i think at the tactical level, the level of communication and cooperation is quite close.
we have increasing numbers of tangible incidents we'll point to where there have been lra have engaged directly, where there have been inductees released as a result of the collaboration and the tactical operation level. in terms of the challenges, i highlighted a couple already, and as you know, the terrain itself is perhaps challenge number one. challenge number two is perhaps our collective expectations management on how quickly we'll be able to succeed given the terrain, given the multiplicity of the forces and given the challenges associated with gathering actionable information during this operation.
i think in terms of some specific to the operation observant compass logistics and isr our challenge ari -- are challenge areas for us. there are logistics support being provided at the present time thanks to the state department's peace-keeping operations, funding support that's something that d.o.d. will be taking over via 1206 counterlra authority. and we intend to increase the amount of the logistics support provided to the partner forces themselves. when it comes to isr, as you're well aware, there is not enough isr to go around for any of our combatant commanders. they are constantly making difficult choices within their areas of responsibility. africom has dedicated assets to the clr outright mission looking at other ways to increase the amount of coverage that could be
provided going forward. >> thank you very much. if i could just a follow-on question i eat'd like to go to ambassador yamamoto for the same question. but what are the benchmarks for success for this deployment? what's the time line? what could you suggest in terms of benchmarks that would determine when you would think it was appropriate for the d.o.d. role to wind down? >> i think in terms of benchmarks of success, when we look across the four pilars of the strategy, there are quite a few benchmarks to look at. some of those relate to the total number of defections over time. some of those relate to the number of lras involved. these are specific to the d.o.d. realm of the capacity building of the partner forces and their ability to increase the effectiveness of their information and intelligence gathering operations and then to translate that into operational
activities on the ground. those are some specific ones to the d.o.d. lane. i think there are also metrics or benchmarks when you look at the level of overall development in the areas in terms of the access for humanitarian assistance and the ability to engage in development activities over time along the lines of what we've heard from usa. >> thank you so much. ambassador yamamoto, if you'd just speak to the same basic question. what sort of progress are we making in terms of getting the regional partners we have to collaborate, to coordinate? to what extent is some ongoing hesitancy or distance between the drc and uganda contributing to operational challenges in the field, and then to what extent is collaboration, coordination in the development and recovery mission also critical to our long-term success? >> yeah. thank you very much, senator. one of the main issues is that the four governments are committed, so that's really kind of the first step in trying to get together. you are actually correct, trying to get all these countries to
coordinate and cooperate and to have an integrated military force that can coordinate and cooperate is going to be tough. we're talking to the defense minister last week from the central african republic. they need equipment, they need training. they need a lot of logistical support. but in comparison to uganda, they have a much more advanced organization. so how to integrate these will be a challenge, but we are trying to overcome these. i think the special forces group has been very good about enhancing coordination and cooperation. the other issue is you're correct, the ugandan troops have not been in the drc since the elections last year. that's going to take some time. but they are committed. we've spoken to the president and they are going to work together to make this happen. but one thing that's really important is that, as long as we are remaining committed -- the united states, the european union, the united nations and the african -- that's going to be important. i think especially setting up the original task force in sudan
is one step the united nations peacekeeping operations contributing, that's another step. and right now as we're building that trust and that trust will continue to expand. one thing, going back to what amanda was saying on the benchmarks, is if we can engage the enhanced capabilities, coordination, and cooperation, that is one level of success and benchmark. >> thank you so much, ambassador. i'm going to turn to senator isaacson, and we can resume. >> well, first of all, i want to describe what i saw in the gulu area of uganda because your organization and the ngos you're contracting with have made a remarkable turn in coordination with the ugandan government. we flew into gulu, local puddle-jumper is the best way to put it, and we got there from kampala, but one of the things we saw away is since coney has
been out of northern uganda, which is about five to six years, have built a better road access between come pala and gulu, where access is between seven and eight hours, used to be nonexistent before, connecting the north to the capital city. through the usaid, they're doing remarkable village improvements in their savings and loans and microfinance, if you will, at the villages and bringing about economic recovery. the pathfinder group in that area is doing the same thing. and then cdc is doing a great job in terms of the aids problem that is in uganda. but i have to say, if you talk about the horror of joseph coney in northern uganda five to six years ago and the savagery and the destruction and the terrible things that were going on, a lot of credit has to be given to the
renaissance now taking place in that area in northern africa, and a lot of that credit goes to usaid. you might want to comment on some of those contractors. >> thank you, senator, and thank you for your praise. i look forward, actually, to going to gulu. i've heard about the tremendous impact that we collectively, the u.s. government, have made in partnership with ngos, international, local, and certainly the government of uganda. we programmed more than $100 million last year into northern uganda, and that was about 50% of the resources that went into northern uganda last year. and it's all coordinated under the government's peace and reconstruction development program. and a.i.d. is a major contributor and other donors and the government itself is, as well. before i get into commenting on some of the specific programs of
our implementing partners, i want to say this is one area where we're being forward leaning, recognizing that there is some good capacity within some of the local governments there. and so when administrator shaw was before you and discussed some of the forward reforms, this is one area we're actually piloting the reforms. so we're programming resources directly through the local government so that the local government can build infrastructure projects to support the community. and at the same time we have an independent verifier. one of the ngos, winrock, provides that oversight to make sure that there's strict accountability of the money that usa is providing. so i just wanted to highlight that as one success on the reforms of a.i.d. in addition to working directly with the local governments, we're also working with a wide range of partners, some 20 ngos, to i